A new report from B.C. Hydro has found that British Columbians are eager to buy electric vehicles, but finding an EV isn’t so easy.
Just like most in-demand consumer products these days, EV purchases have been damped by supply chain issues compounded by shortages of lithium batteries and microchips.
B.C. Hydro says 2021 was a record year for EV purchases in the province, but 34 per cent of people who are interested in buying an EV were hesitant to make a purchase because of lack of availability.
Supply woes should ease over the coming years as manufacturers play catch-up. Still, supply isn’t expected to meet demand until 2026. B.C. Hydro predicts EVs will make up half of the new vehicle market in the province by 2026 and at least 25 per cent in Canada as a whole.
In the meantime, purchasing an EV can be an arduous process — 41 per cent of British Columbians actively looking for an EV described the buying process as ‘difficult’, with many would-be owners having to wait up to a year for their vehicles to be available.
B.C. Hydro found that 28 per cent of buyers considered purchasing a used EV, 15 per cent considered buying out of province or outside of Canada, 13 per cent inquired about buying EVs from their neighbours, 11 per cent were willing to buy any make, model or colour of EV and some event fought with another EV buyer over access to a vehicle.
Despite the challenges of buying an EV, the benefits are obvious. With record gas prices draining wallets across B.C., 85 per cent of respondents pointed to rising oil and gas costs as their main reason for making the switch. A slightly smaller group — 65 per cent — said they wanted to buy an EV out of concern for the environment, 51 per cent said they were motivated by the increased options of makes and models, and 46 per cent just want to catch on to the trend.
B.C. Hydro stands to benefit from the increased interest in EVs as they are the largest electricity provider in the province. The company says they’re ready to meet the demand by bringing on 325 fast-charging stations at 145 sites across B.C. by 2025.